I Can’t Read

reading on pile of books
Conceptual Books

I can’t read.

I mean, I can’t read anymore.

I used to be a voracious reader. You know the type. All through elementary, middle, and high school I could read sometimes three books in a week. I read in class, during lunch, walking down the halls, late at night. I cried over books. I lived and breathed books. Even during my undergrad I kept up my reading habit for the most part. I didn’t read quite as much as I used to, but I was still reading. Especially during the summer. During my undergrad I worked first at a grocery store, then at a Jason’s Deli, and finally at a Borders Bookstore, and I always had books with me during my breaks. And I would stay up until 3 or 4 in the morning to read. Sometimes I would just read straight through the night and not sleep at all.

In grad school my reading habit started to suffer. When I did read it was reading for my classes, and even that slowly became more sporadic. I would sometimes fake my way through class because I didn’t finish the reading. But then, every grad student does that.

The last three or four years have been different though. I can’t read anymore. I can’t concentrate and focus on the words. I read the same paragraphs over and over again and nothing sinks in. The words do not live in my brain the way they used to. I can blame this, mainly, on two things: the internet and depression. My reading first began to suffer, slowly but surely, when I got my first laptop the senior year of my undergrad. My internet addiction has been a severe problem for my ability to sit still and read. More often then not when I have free time I choose to be on my computer rather than pick up a book. And my patience, my concentration, and even my eyesight have all suffered because of my addiction.

But the other problem, the problem that has been the main culprit for the last two years at least, is my depression. Because of my depression I live in a constant brain-dead haze. Doing ANYTHING requires so much effort that it feels nearly impossible. Thinking feels like the most difficult thing in the world. Reading just can’t happen. I find I can’t even read things on the internet like fanfiction, which I used to be able to read even when my book-reading suffered. I simply can’t read.

It’s frustrating. It’s heart-breaking. Words have been my life for as long as I can remember, and now my brain rebels against them. My brain rebels against ME. And I hate it. And I don’t know how to fix it.


4 thoughts on “I Can’t Read

  1. I am so sorry to hear about this dilemma you’re having. I can’t imagine what you’re going through but it sounds awful.
    Thank you for sharing this glimpse into your life. I hope that you’re eventually able to get back to reading some day.


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